Zadie Smith’s widely anticipated fourth novel examines social mobility in 21st-century working-class Britain through the intercrossing narratives of four thirtysomethings (Leah, Natalie, Felix, and Nathan), each of whom struggles to build an adult life outside the Northwest London housing project where they all grew up. NW is split into quarters, and each protagonist’s story is told in its own formally distinct style, with varying levels of success.
Over two albums of proudly violent gangsta rap, the six members of this widely influential late-eighties hip-hip collective (Arabian Prince, DJ Yella, Dr. Dre, Eazy-E, Ice Cube, and MC Ren) examined racial profiling and police brutality in Los Angeles, where they all grew up. When intergroup tensions frustrated sessions for a third record, N.W.A split, and each rapper embarked on a solo career, with varying levels of success.
The National Weather Service examines meteorological data gathered from a countrywide network of instruments on land and sea and warns about dangerous weather-related phenomena, in case you have plans a tornado might screw up. Despite Rush Limbaugh’s assertion that Obama has hijacked the NWS for political means, the president’s secret plot to disrupt the Republican convention with hurricane warnings was only a modest success.
The dramas on this TV network, launched in 2006 as a joint venture between CBS and Warner Bros., examine the plight of beautiful 18-to-25-year-olds coming to terms with the wealth or supernatural powers with which they grew up. Despite a lineup designed to appeal to America’s love of remakes (90210, Nikita) and vampirism (The Vampire Diaries, Supernatural), the network has had only modest success in attracting viewers.